Vatican, Israeli rabbi condemn anti-Muslim film

Vatican, Israeli rabbi condemn anti-Muslim film

Vatican, Israeli rabbi condemn anti-Muslim film

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest. REUTERS photo

An Orthodox Israeli rabbi and former cabinet minister condemned today as "garbage and slime" a film deemed offensive to Islam that has sparked deadly anti-US protests in Libya and Egypt.
"Although freedom of expression and the right to use satire are sacred democratic principles, these freedoms should not be used as an excuse to publish garbage and slime," Michael Melchior, a long-standing advocate of inter-faith dialogue, wrote in a statement.

The low-budget movie, "Innocence of Muslims" in which actors have strong American accents, portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent.  It was produced by Israeli-American Sam Bacile, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Vatican also condemned what it called anti-Muslim "provocations" and the resulting "unacceptable violence" after the deadly attack.

"The serious consequences of unjustified offence and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
"The reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence," he said.
"Profound respect for the beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols of the various religions is an essential precondition for the peaceful coexistence of peoples," he added.

World governments joined the U.S. and Libyan presidents in condemning the killing of U.S. envoy Christopher Stevens today.

French President Francois Hollande strongly condemned the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff, describing the rocket attack on their car in Benghazi as an "odious" crime.
Hollande called on Libya to do everything to find those behind the attack and bring them to justice.
British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said they condemned the deadly attack on the US consulate. "We condemn the violence that was displayed and we will support the authorities in getting to the bottom of who is responsible and ensuring they are brought to justice in a proper way," Hammond told a news conference on a visit to Qatar.

Steffen Seibert speaking on behalf of the German goverment said, "The federal government condemns in the strongest terms the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt."

Compiled from AFP and Reuters by the Daily News staff.